On Monday, White House press secretary held a strange off-camera, no audio press briefing where he responded to questions from a Russian reporter but refused to discuss with CNN reporters.
White House Press Briefings Shrouded in Secrecy
It is strange that the White House decides to become more secretive with its press briefings now that the scandals dogging the Trump administration are boiling over. Trump is reportedly being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller for an alleged obstruction of justice. The president is also under scrutiny for his family’s business dealings that reek of conflict of interest miles away.
The GOP has failed to repeal Obamacare and come up with a viable solution, Trump’s tax plan is on hold, and his border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border doesn’t have the necessary funding. Moreover, ISIS is still a threat, and the travel ban is stalled in the nation’s courts.
The White House press corps is the primary outlet that keeps the public informed on the federal government’s whereabouts, and its freedom is guaranteed by the Constitution. So, it is not a good idea to build a wall between the Trump administration and the public. But Trump does like his walls.
White House ‘Stonewalling’ CNN
However, that is what Trump’s associates are doing right now. The White House Press Office’s briefings have recently become shorter and rarer. When Trump’s spokesman does hold a press briefing, reporters are banned from turning on their cameras and audio recording devices.
Yesterday, CNN’s Jim Acosta lashed out at Spicer for being “kinda useless” in the current context. Acosta couldn’t understand why the White House would hold press briefings and gaggles if reporters were denied questions and they couldn’t use their cameras or microphones.
Acosta believes the Trump White House is basically “stonewalling” his employer for denying answering questions after having promised to do so. CNN wanted to question Spicer on the existence of Oval Office tapes and his stance on climate change.